Summer Style on a Budget

by - June 14, 2024

I don't know about where you live, but where I'm at it's already unbearably hot. That makes getting dressed in the summer a little tricky, especially if you want to look like you've put thought into your outfit. Trust me when I say that it's so hot that most people (who don't have to work) choose the path of least resistance -- usually shorts and a t-shirt. Honestly, so do I most of the time unless I know I've got something going on like taking Alexis to camp or attending a program at the library. For those, I usually choose a dress.

We've been fairly busy since school let out. The first week of summer Alexis had Odyssey Camp (I posted about it on my Instagram if you're interested). Other than that, I spent the week decompressing from the school year. Seriously, I slept a lot.

Since then we've gone to the lake, two programs at the library, and visited the Georgia Aquarium. We've also gone to the bookstore at least four times (I've lost count at this point) and gotten back into a fairly consistent dog-walking routine.

I have six outfits to share with y'all from the last few weeks, plus a swimsuit that's amazingly still in stock. True to form, I keep forgetting to take pictures. I wore this dress when we went to try the Dolly Parton donuts at Krispy Kreme. You can just barely see the top of it in the picture I did take. And I wore a dress that's really similar to this one when we went to see Animal Tales at the library.

Sizing info: I'm 5'2" and weigh about 140 lbs. I typically wear size 6 or s/m in clothes and size 7 in shoes.

Dress (similar) / Sandals (similar) / Necklace / Sunglasses (similar)

I don't honestly remember what we did this day. I know that Alexis had Odyssey Camp, but she was staying with grandparents during this part of it. I'm sure we probably walked through a handful of stores because it's rare we get to do that without Alexis (if you're a parent, then you understand the joy of being able to browse a store kid-free).

Anyway, this is one of my favorite style of dresses from Old Navy. It's their fit and flare mini dress, which they pretty much always have in at least a few color/pattern options. This particular pattern is from several years ago so no longer available. I wear a medium in this style dress because the bodice is fitted and has no stretch. The straps are adjustable, and it's got pockets, but the skirt is not lined. It hits me just above my knee.

For most of the day, I wore my new platform white sandals (size up at least a half size), but remember I mentioned getting back into a regular dog-walking routine in the introduction? Yeah, I took this picture on our walk, and I just slid my feet into my tried-and-true triple-bow flops. They're old but I linked to a similar style that feels pretty on trend for this year.

Dress / Sandals / NecklaceSunglasses (similar)

This is one of my favorite summer dresses. I've had it for a few years now, and it's held up very well. It hits just above my knees, so it's the perfect length. The waist is fitted but elastic so it doesn't squeeze you. It is fully lined. I'm wearing a size small. I know that I, once again, took the picture on our daily walk with the dog, but I do not remember what else we did that day.

I'm only sharing this picture that I find incredibly unflattering because of how I was sitting because my swimsuit is still available. The top is still available in all sizes and my exact bottoms are available in L and XL. The high-waisted bottoms are available in all sizes still. This swimsuit is on the pricy side (I'm pretty sure I got it on sale last year), but the quality is really nice. The top can be worn with or without the tie string.

I didn't get a good picture of it, but this is the coverup I wore. You can read more about it and some other favorite coverups here. I also picked up a pair of Teva lookalike sandals from Walmart for less than $15 to wear on the boat. I wish I'd gotten a picture of them for you, but I did not. They are incredibly comfortable. I got the hot pink but they come in black and an olive pattern too.

So I know that this isn't a great outfit picture, but that's because I mostly took it for the sunglasses. However, all three things I'm linking were part of my Amazon summer wish list.

I am in love with these sunglasses. Cheap sunglasses are my not-so-guilty pleasure, and this three-pack only cost $20, putting each pair at less than $10. This is the solid black pair out of the three pack. I don't typically go for all-black sunglasses, but these are definitely a winner. I especially love the deep tint of the lenses. They're perfect for my light eyes that struggle with brightness and haze. Full disclosure, I did somehow manage to dislodge one of the lenses, but it popped back in with minimal fuss and no scratches. Speaking of scratches, these come with a convenient soft pouch to store them in so they don't get beat up in your bag as well as a cleaning cloth.

I'm wearing a medium in both the t-shirt and overalls. The t-shirt has a fun, almost vintage-feeling print on it. I got the style called Apricot. The overalls have three cute wooden-look buttons for the straps, so they're adjustable. I did the loosest one because that's how I like my overalls. The legs hit me about mid-thigh. They've also got a nice-sized pocket on the chest, which came in handy for holding my sunglasses.

This isn't the best picture -- the lighting in the aquarium was not the best -- but I wanted to share this fun t-shirt dress with y'all. It was also on my Amazon summer wish list.

What drew me to this dress at first was the fun, colorful abstract pattern, but the lace detailing on the hem is what kept my attention. I ordered this in a medium because I like t-shirt dresses to be loose and not clingy. This was perfect to wear on our trip to the Georgia Aquarium. It's soft and a good length and kept me cool in the crowds.

I would normally not wear sneakers with this dress, but I knew we would be on our feet all day, so I wore my Adidas Grand Court sneakers, which are comfortable to walk in and/or stand for long periods. Mine are actually the kids version, though, in a size 5. They're exactly the same except for the price.

Dress (Cato - not on website) / Sandals (similar)

I saw this dress in the display window of my local Cato and had to go in to try it on. Crochet is having a comeback moment this summer, and this dress is such a fun way to embrace the trend without drowning in it. This dress hits me just at the knee. I got it in a medium because they didn't have a small. I'm pretty certain I could wear a small, but the bodice might would have been a bit restricting. Also, the straps are not adjustable, so that could have been a problem.

This dress is brand new, but I cannot find it anywhere on the Cato website, which is frustrating. They have a similar maxi style dress in blue and a solid crochet neck dress in the same color, but not this one. So keep checking the website or visit your local Cato if you're interested. 

This dress feels a bit fancy, especially for running errands, so I kept my shoes simple with my brown leather slides. These are from  Old Navy last year, but Old Navy has a cute pair that's similar that I've linked to that look to be the same quality.

All the crochet styles I've been seeing in stores is giving me major 90s flashbacks. It was a trend I didn't fully embrace then, and one I don't find myself gravitating to as a rule now, but I really could not resist this crochet tank dress. Not only does it check the trend box for crochet but also the boxes for bright colors, stripes, and tank dress. Now because this is a juniors brand and crochet isn't exactly stretchy or forgiving, I sized way up to an XL, and I definitely do not regret it. By doing that, I ensured that the short liner is almost knee length and bought myself some breathing room.

My purse was also featured on my Amazon summer wish list. It's a trendy crossbody style and has a nice slim silhouette without sacrificing space. It has so many pockets it's unreal! It comes in a bunch of other colors and patterns.

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